Food Safety in Sussex County
Food safety is an essential part of public health and the Sussex County Department of Environmental & Public Health Services strives to ensure retail and restaurant food safety for residents and visitors. Unsafe food conditions can lead to foodborne illness which affect over 10 million people and kills thousands in the US every year. Foodborne illness can be caused by many culprits including bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, and also non-infectious agents. In Sussex County and throughout New Jersey, food safety programs play an important role in prevention.
The goal of the Department of Environmental and Public Health Services is to work with business owners to educate them on how to maintain a clean, compliant establishment to protect the public and help to insure the success of their business. The Department conducts over 1,000 inspections of food establishments throughout the county annually. The inspections, conducted by licensed county staff, are part of the municipally issued food licensing process. Each inspection checks for compliance with NJ State regulations on food handling, preparation and personal hygiene. Food establishments may be graded as Satisfactory, Conditionally Satisfactory, or Unsatisfactory and a detailed explanation of those evaluations is provided on the website.
If a food establishment is new, experiences a change in ownership, or has an alteration from the existing establishment, then a Food Establishment Review Application needs to be filled out. These applications can be found on the Department's website at www.sussex.nj.us/health. Click Food on the navigation box and under resources for retail food establishments, click on each link for the form you need.
The website also provides tools for consumers, such as viewing Food Inspections Online. Inspection reports found on the website represent a snapshot of the conditions of an individual establishment on the date of inspection. Inspections conducted from January 1, 2011 forward are available to the public. To access this page go to the department website (www.sussex.nj.us/health) and click Food on the top navigation box. Under the heading Resources for Consumers, click View Food Inspection Results Online.
Aside from the results, under resources for consumers, residents/consumers can file a complaint or access other resources regarding food safety. For other questions regarding food safety, please call the Department of Environmental and Public Health Services at 973-579-0370 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New Jersey Department of Health is responsible for wholesale food inspection and for more information on that program, please visit, www.nj.gov/health . Additional information on food safety and foodborne illnesses can be accessed on the CDC website, http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/diseases/ .